Enable has been a pioneer of Internet applications since its inception 12 years ago. We quickly recognised that physically installing software on every PC in an organization was not the way forward, as upgrades need to be carried out individually on each computer, computer-specific problems can be encountered, and users can only work on the specific PCs that have the software installed. On the other hand, browser-based applications can be accessed via a web browser from anywhere without requiring any local installation, and upgrades are carried out once in a central location.
Enable has focussed on developing browser-based applications that are fast to operate and easy-to-use for both the occasional and the expert user. A major goal has been to make browser-based applications as ‘feature rich’ as the desktop, and this has been largely achieved in recent years.
In the past, a potential downside of browser-based applications has been that they require a reliable Internet connection to operate. However, Enable has recently completed development projects where this is not so. Utilising HTML5, Enable can develop applications with functions that can be accessed and used with only intermittent connectivity. When an Internet connection becomes available, data is able to synchronise between the user’s device—PC, smartphone, tablet—and the central server that hosts the application.
The potential applications for this are enormous. Enable has recently completed a project whereby a team of merchandisers fill in a series of product promotion forms on an iPhone, which are then consolidated and accessed via a web portal. In this case, prior to each customer visit when an Internet connection is available, the application downloads product specific details that are relevant to each customer. The merchandiser is then able to navigate and populate the customer specific forms even when there is no connection available. Once the customer visit is completed the application synchronises with the web portal when an Internet connection becomes available again.
One significant benefit of this approach is that a single application can be accessed by a broad range of devices such as PCs, iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Blackberrys. Applications can function with or without Internet connectivity. Enable believes web apps that use open technology such as HTML5 will challenge native app development—an approach that requires apps to be rewritten for each platform and requires the use of proprietry, closed technologies.
So clients can now have the best of both worlds: the accessibility and cross platform compatibility of an Internet based application, and the feature-richness of a native, locally installed application. Available to use anywhere and any time, with or without an Internet connection.
Contact Enable to learn how this can be applied to your organization.